Time For Travel Photography

©Victoria Lagnehag

The most important thing in travel photography, is time. Now, that might sound strange when there’s a long list of things to tick off before you master the role in its entirety. But I do believe that time is crucial in order to successfully carry out travel photography assignments.

For starters, time of day is important. Aiming for soft light or harsh shadows? Aiming for a quiet street corner or a busy boulevard? Want to shoot an empty restaurant or a buzzing pub? Time of day is everything.

Time matters when we look at distance. In a metropolis like London for example, distances are great and the sights are spread over several areas. Because of that, it takes time to cover the destination. Which in turn means, shooting several sights during the same morning slot, is not doable. But in a city like Riga, where everything is within walking distance, you’re able to cover several areas and attractions, in the same time span. This is important to bear in mind, when you plan your trip.

Another angle on time is to take the time. Or having time to wait, if you will. Waiting for a clear shot or a specific moment that may or may not come. To shoot a number of photos under pressure and within a set time frame is not a good starting point. Stressful assignments are not something I advocate and would even go as far as saying, it’s set out to fail. Travel photography is a lot about waiting and then, time matters.

Another thing that might seem obvious, is to ensure you have as much time as possible on location. Have a look at flights before you suggest dates to your client. You want to ensure that you can arrive to your destination at a decent hour to not lose out on a day of shooting and ideally, choose an afternoon or evening return flight to ensure you can make use of your final day. Remember, we want to maximise the time and flights are a good starting point.

I travel quite a bit and many times, it’s for short and intense assignments. I know that time is of essence so planning ahead is really key. I work meticulously to a shot list, based on weeks of research and thorough planning. This is to ensure that my client get a good return on their investment and that I use my time well.